Sunday, May 29, 2011

Railroad snipe hunt

Amongst train restoration/history enthusiasts, it's ALMOST a joke about "the locomotive sitting in a pond in a quarry" waiting to be rescued.

Even with this knowledge, Thursday morning at 7 am, I set out with a group of people who should know better, for a 4 hour drive north to the site of an old train station next to a river. Here, it was related to us, had sat some old passenger cars on blocks, that were burned in place, and the metal remnants shoved over the bank next to the river. There is a picture of the cars. There is a first person account of seeing the metal over the side. So permission was eventually obtained from the railroad for salvage/access rights. These could be valuable original parts to use in our restoration of several cars.

I ended up sitting in criminally uncomfortable rear seats in a 4X4 pickup truck for a total of about 7 hours, 3 of which were unpaved bumpy roads.

After following directions, maps and Google satellite photos, we arrived to find the tracks themselves covered by 6 foot high Scotch broom plants we had to wade through to get to the bank which was covered with large trees, blackberries and poison oak. And lots of leaves and old railroad ties and metal strapping.

But nothing else.

But the river was beautiful, as was the drive (which I couldn't take pictures of due to my rear seat perch.)

                      This is the road to the river I took so I could look up and see something. (I didn't)

There were a few clearings, a lot of I can't take a picture because all you'd see is branches. 
This shot is somewhere in between. Look carefully and you can even see some rail.

An elevated shot of the river.

Oh, and it was all very wet because it rained a lot on our way there. My feet were soaked all day, and I got home at 8:30 pm.

I should also mention that the timing was partially due to weather timing and partially due to planting timing as this is located in the midst of what is known as the "Emerald Triangle" where the largest cash crop is, as they say, off the books.



  1. The thrill of the chase cannot be denied:)

  2. Looks like a place worth traveling to, even if you don't find what you're looking for...

  3. I swear I heard banjo music

  4. Having said that, it was almost certainly a recording of Jerry Garcia.

  5. Well the scenery was beautiful. Good thing you didn't light a bonfire. You'd still be up there searching for marshmallows to roast.

  6. A wild railcar chase.

    Still. What a beautiful place to be chasing, in...